By Tabora Bojang
National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has expressed dismay over the failure of the country’s public higher education institutions to register their programmes for accreditation approvals to the national regulatory body.
During his appearance before the National Assembly Select Committee on Education, Training, and ICT yesterday to present his institution’s activity reports, CEO Dr Gibril Jaw warned that unapproved and unaccredited learning programmes offered by the country’s highest learning public institutions could hamper the future of students vying for overseas studies if nothing is done about it.
“We have institutions that are not registered with NAQAA especially public institutions and I think this needs to be addressed by the government because some of them feel that they are public institutions so they are not under the umbrella of NAQAA.”
Deputies raised concerns that institutions including the University of The Gambia and the Gambia College are not registered with the authority for accreditation of their programmes.
According to Dr Jaw “NAQAA does not have limit as far as quality assurance and accreditation is concerned” adding that there are many public institutions that neither follow the regulatory body’s guidelines nor register or apply for programme accreditation.
“Programme accreditation is mandatory. It is not recommendatory for all institutions whether they are public or not. We have visited some public institutions now but we are worried that none of their programmes is accredited,” he lamented.
He said Gambian students suffer when they get admissions into overseas institutions with unapproved and unaccredited programmes.
“Therefore, we must protect the interest of the learners by making sure all institutions whether public or private get their programmes reviewed and accredited…” Dr Jaw told the deputies.
Established by an act of parliament repealing the National Training Authority (NTA), NAQAA is mandated to serve as the regulatory body for the implementation of accreditation and quality assurance standards for the country’s tertiary and higher education institutions.